On the exact anniversary, Wednesday 16 September, the Corps named a street within their NATO barracks ‘Rheindahlen Road’ after their former base in north west Germany.
The colourful ceremony, scaled down due to coronavirus restrictions, was officiated by Gloucester’s town crier Alan Myatt, and the ARRC’s Italian deputy commander, Major General Lorenzo D’Addario.
The town crier announced: “Special greetings to those serving here at the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps!
Today marks ten years since the ARRC returned here from Germany to our beloved Shire. With warm feelings of great pride, it is a great privilege and honour to host here this key NATO institution. God Save the Queen!
SIGN OF THE TIMES
The U.K.-led Allied Rapid Reaction Corps was created in Germany at the end of the Cold War and is capable of commanding up to 120,000 multinational troops in a crisis. Since 1992 it has led NATO operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Today Imjin Barracks in Gloucester is the largest NATO base in the U.K., with 21 nations serving as part of the Corps, as well as hundreds of their family members who have also made the English cathedral city their home.
The road-naming ceremony event is part of a series of events to mark the ARRC’s tenth anniversary in South West England.
In July this year, Gloucester Cathedral changed their bell chimes to play the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ in honour of American NATO soldiers based in the City. And on Bastille Day the Mayor of Gloucester presented French officers with a wheel of ‘Double Gloucester’ cheese in thanks for their support during the COVID-19 outbreak.